Four!

I know how the days are spent and still I must wonder where the years go.

Sprout is four! How can I sum up such a child? She is curious and observant; thoughtful and meticulous. She can do so many things. She greatly enjoys being helpful. She is imaginative, playful, and cuddly when she is drowsy.

As I did last year, I asked her some fun survey questions. Here are some of her answers:

  • What is your favorite color? “Pink, red, blue, and orange.”
  • What is your favorite movie? Pooh’s Grand Adventure
  • What is your favorite song? “‘Twinkle, Twinkle,’ ‘Jesus Loves Me,’ and ‘Oh! Victory in Jesus'”
  • What is your favorite food? “Peanut butter jelly sandwiches and noodles!”
  • What is your favorite drink? “Juice.”
  • What is your favorite snack? “Yogurt.”
  • What are your favorite clothes to wear? “My butterfly shirt and this (brown floral) dress.”
  • What is your favorite toy? “All my new toys.”
  • What is your favorite thing to do outside? “Swing.”
  • Where is your favorite place to go? “Not a doctor. The orange place (Home Depot). Restaurants.”
  • What is the yuckiest food? “Broccoli and carrots.”
  • What do you want to be or do when you grow up? “Ten years old! A man. I will jump really, really, super high!”
  • What did you used to do when you were little? “Just cry.”
  • Now that you are 4, what can you do that you couldn’t do when you were just 3? “I can jump really, super high.”
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She Crochets: Squirt’s Pink Sandals

Every pink summer dress needs a pair of pink sandals to match, right?

Progression Info
Started – March 22
Completed – March 27
Duration – 5 days = 0.7 weeks

Pattern Info
Baby Rainbow Sandals by aisha kenza

These sandals look a lot like the Saartje’s Bootees (by Saartje de Bruijn) I’ve knit once before… way back in 2011. This is a crochet version, though, which I expected to be a little faster and easier to work up.

Yarn Info

W艂oczki Warmii Lenka
100% linen
Colorway – Koralowy r贸偶
0.22 skeins = 72.2 yds used

Monaco Ombr茅 Crochet Cotton #8
100% cotton
Colorway – pink
0.38 skeins = 72.2 yds used

These are the linen and cotton from the pink dress I recently finished.

Photos

She Knits: Squirt’s Pink Dress

I found this really cute pattern for a baby dress, so I knit it for Squirt for this summer.

Progression Info
Started – March 14
Completed – March 21
Duration – 7 days = 1 week

This was a quick knit. 馃檪 I probably could have knit it in 3-4 days, but I don’t think I knit at all over the weekend during that span of time.

Pattern Info
Clean + Simple Baby Dress by Purl Soho

This is a great pattern. The top section is done in linen stitch — this was my first experience with that. It is basically the eye of partridge stitch pattern I like on my sock heels, except the yarn on the slipped stitches is carried in the front, not in the back. It makes a tight, woven-looking fabric.

The shaping and construction is fairly straight-forward. There was a lot of casting on using the cable cast-on, which I don’t enjoy doing. But it is the most sensible thing to do in those places, so I didn’t consider any alternate methods.

The dress is intended to be worn with the buttons in the back. I made the 0-6 month size, though, and at that age, babies spend the most time on their backs! I think buttons would be uncomfortable in that case, so I put cutesy ladybug buttons on, and she will wear it with them in front. 馃檪

Yarn Info
W艂贸czki Warmii Lenka
100% linen
Colorway – koralowy聽r贸偶 (coral pink)
0.7 skeins = 229.7 yds used

Monaco Ombr茅 Crochet Cotton #8
100% cotton
Colorway – pink
1.2 skeins = 229.7 yds used

I held the linen yarn (left from my Asagi blouse) double with a crochet cotton thread I was given by a very dear friend. The thread is a bright, variegated pink. The solid pink linen helped to tone down the variegation and brightness of the pink. It is a nuisance to me to knit with two yarns together, but I am happy with the outcome. Plus, a linen cotton blend is perfect for summer. She may even be able to wear this as a swim suit cover-up at the lake this year.

Photos

She Knits: Pink Asagi Blouse

I was given the yarn and pattern for this project by a dear Polish friend. I was really glad because choosing patterns for yarns is sometimes stressful for me. This came all ready to go, decisions all made for me! Just what I needed. 馃檪

Progression Info
Started – November 18, 2017
Completed – March 13
Duration – 115 days = 16.4 weeks

The friend who sent me this yarn and pattern jokes about how fast I knit. She really did not expect this blouse to take me so long and has apologized a few times. 馃榾 However, it’s been (mostly) fun to knit. The sleeves and yoke were all interesting and quick to knit; the hem, neckline edging, and armhole edgings I knit in just a few days. The miles and miles (OK, so only actually a couple feet) of stockinette body was the least pleasant part.

Of course, I did not knit exclusively on this for the entire 4.5 months, and I let it languish some of those weeks. So there is no telling how much actual knitting went into this. Except, I can say that each round of the body required 10 minutes, and that works out to about 25 hours on just the body itself, from armhole to hem.

Pattern Info
Asagi by Bristol Ivy
Ravelry

I made the XL size for a finished 55 1/4″ bust, which is about 6 1/4″ positive ease for me. This blouse is intended to fit loosely this way.

This design has an interesting construction that I enjoyed working. I could have made one size smaller if I added length to that size, as it fits rather generously under the arms. It does not have quite the V-neck I was expecting — it fits more like a boat-neck. That’s not a bad thing, just different.

I made one major modification to the pattern. It is designed for the front hem to be many inches shorter than the back. With a large bust, I knew it would be聽even shorter on me, and wouldn’t look very good. I modified the design by adding short rows at the front under the yoke, to add some length there before beginning the plain knitting for the body. However, I did try to stay true to the spirit of the design by not adding so many short rows that the front hem would be equal in length to the back.

(For my non-knitting friends… “short rows” refer to a technique of adding height/length to a piece, without adding width. And I’m going to go into technical detail about how I did this, so you may want to skip down to the Yarn Info section to avoid all the boring details.)

I worked the short rows using the German short row technique. Instead of a traditional wrapped stitch, a nick-named “double stitch” is formed in this technique. For explanatory purposes, I’ll call this the GSR stitch.

I joined the front yokes and back as indicated in the pattern and knit 3 rounds of stockinette. I marked the start of the round (at the bottom of the left armhole), the center of the front, and the middle of the round (bottom of the right armhole). I worked the short rows over the front of the blouse only.

I knit 3 stitches past the front center marker, turned, created the GSR stitch. Then knit to 3 stitches past the front center marker again (on the WS), turned, created another GSR stitch. Then, I knit to the first GSR stitch, worked it according to the German short row technique, then knit 3 more, turned, created a new GSR stitch. I repeated this until I had worked short rows across the entire front of the blouse. (There is a visible “seam” where the short rows were worked, shown below.)

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This added about 4 inches to the front of the blouse. It is still longer in the back than the front, as the designer intended, but accommodates my shape better.

Yarn Info
W艂贸czki Warmii Lenka
100% linen/flax
Colorway – Koralowy聽r贸偶 (coral rose)
3.88 skeins = 1273.0 yds used

This was my first time using linen yarn. It is similar to cotton, in that it is very inelastic. It has no give at all and is very smooth. This is a light fingering weight, which made a lightweight, airy blouse — perfect to wear over a camisole in summer time.

As I knit with this yarn, I worried that it would feel scratchy against my skin, but it doesn’t at all.

I washed this by hand, used the washer to spin the excess water out, then machine-dried it as I do any other clothing. I’m curious to see how the yarn wears over time, whether it softens or “blooms” at all. However, it is perfectly comfortable now!

Photos

I didn’t take any pictures of me wearing this because it doesn’t fit, now, as it will in a few months. 馃槈 But it聽does fit, even over my baby bump, and is loose enough to lift for breastfeeding, so I expect it will be worn a lot this summer.

She Knits: Squirt’s Big Bow Hat

I recently learned how much Nate likes bows on little girls. When I came across a pattern for a hat with a聽big bow, I wanted to make it.

I entered this hat in the 2018 Ravellenics Winter Games. It is a craft-a-long hosted on Ravelry that follows the timing of the Olympic Games (is not sponsored or affiliated in any way). There are “events” for various categories of crafts. Completing projects in the time frame of the Games allows you to win “medals” and “laurels” (simple graphics to display on your project page and profile). It’s all for fun, mostly aimed at motivating people to finish projects.

This was my first year/season to participate. I entered this hat for the “Hat Halfpipe” event and the “Stash Laurel” (yarn has been in stash for over 6 months).

Progression Info
Started – February 9
Completed – February 15
Duration – 6 days

This really didn’t take a full 6 days to knit. I knit the hat about halfway before deciding it was too much, ripping all of that out, and starting again. I could easily have knit this whole hat in 2 days, if I didn’t cook or clean or do any laundry. 馃檪

Pattern Info
Big Bow Hat by Casey Braden
Ravelry
Basic Hat Pattern by Ann Budd
The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns (Amazon)

I was inspired by the Big Bow Hat pattern and used the instructions for knitting the actual bow from that pattern. I adapted it for lighter weight yarn, casting on 30 stitches and knitting for 8″.

Many reviews of the Big Bow Hat pattern stated how聽small the hat was — it is written to be “newborn” sized, but many people considered it closer to preemie sized. That wouldn’t suit my usually-post-term babies. So I used Ann Budd’s basic hat pattern for the hat, incorporating the strip of contrasting color that is to look like a ribbon around the head.

I first cast on the size listed for “0-6 months,” but as I knit, and especially as I approached the crown decreasing, I realized and finally admitted the hat was too large. I found a typical head size measurement chart online, and sure enough, what Budd calls “0-6 month” size is closer to the head size of a 6- to 9-month-old. And the size below, which she calls “preemie,” is closer to a newborn or 0- to 3-month-old head size. I ripped out the hat I had made and cast on for the “preemie” size instead.

Yarn Info
Knit Picks Palette
100% wool
Colorway – pennyroyal
0.32 skeins = 73.9 yds used

Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet 100 Splash Hand Dyed
90% wool, 10% nylon
Colorway – #101
0.13 skeins = 49.9 yds used

The purple color was yarn leftover from my Everyday Socks and the Subtle Stripes baby top I made. I聽still have about 100 yards of this left. The speckled color is from my Confetti Cake and Confetti CUPcake Socks. I used every single scrap of that I had left!

Photos

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